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PMA Foundation's Executive Leadership Symposium set for Jan. 15

Senior executives from all segments of the global produce and floral supply chain are invited to profit from the leadership-level strategic discussion of industry issues and challenges scheduled to take place during the 2014 Executive Leadership Symposium Jan. 15-17 in Orlando, FL.

This annual program, presented by the Produce Marketing Association Foundation for Industry Talent in partnership with Cornell University, represents one of many professional development resources available from the PMA Foundation, whose mission is to help produce companies invest in knowledge, expertise and experience necessary to grow business and stay competitive.

To maintain an intimate, collegial environment and a focus on high-level learning opportunities, the event is limited to 75 attendees. The Executive Leadership Symposium also does not feature a trade show component, allowing participants to focus on personal development and relationship building in a thought-provoking, low-pressure, no-selling environment.

The symposium will focus on executive education to stimulate forward thinking, problem solving and identifying personal or business transformations necessary to lead in an era of innovation and change. To ensure attending executives gain actionable lessons relevant to produce, all discussions will be led by “industry-prepared” professional facilitators. All discussions will be framed by high-caliber speakers who are leading authorities in the areas of consumer and human behavior, emerging technologies and digital command.

Founder and chief executive officer of Tomorrow, a consumer innovation research lab, Mike Walsh will open the symposium’s first day with “Your Business Re-Imagined.” Walsh will initiate a dialogue about viewing technology, digital platforms and enterprise tools as opportunities to re-invent produce businesses in the 21st century. He’ll discuss how consumerization, enterprise mobility and the Cloud can change the way teams collaborate and act on information.  

Also on the first day, presenting “The Making of a Digital Leader,” is Erik Qualman, founder of Qualman will explore with attendees the five habits that encompass a successful “Digital STAMP of Leadership” (Simple, True, Act, Map, People). He’ll explain how produce executives can use this concept to improve morale, motivate performance, create a more efficient work environment and impress customers.

On day two of the symposium, attendees will hear from Kaihan Krippendorff on a fundamental question at the heart of competition: How do some people identify and seize strategic options that others overlook? In his presentation “Seizing Business Advantages Through Creative Strategic Thinking,” Krippendorff, business strategist and author, will share the five key habits he’s feels drive “outthinkers” towards unorthodox solutions: mental time travel, attacking the interconnected system, frame-shifting, disruptive mind-set and shaping perceptions.

Closing the symposium with the session “What’s Sex Have To Do with It? The Truth About Gender Communication” is author and founder of Speak Your Truth Colette Carlson. Carlson will use her expertise in human behavior to discuss leveraging gender communication — which she equates to knowing a second language. She’ll demonstrate why it’s integral for produce leaders to master gender differences to more effectively connect and communicate, eliminating frustrating conversations and judgments that can affect the bottom line.

In addition to these influential speakers, the symposium offers opportunities to build relationships through small-group discussions, receptions and dinners. Executives can apply on or before Dec. 11 to save. A Loyalty Reward discount is also available to past participants who have attended the Executive Leadership Symposium at least once in the past three years. Dec. 27 marks the deadline for all applications.

Visit for complete details and to apply online. All proceeds from the Executive Leadership Symposium benefit the nonprofit PMA Foundation’s initiatives to attract, develop and retain talent.